IT looks like any other derelict school which are frequently found across Scotland.

But Mossedge Primary School in Linwood will soon be a new £2.4 community facility owned and run run by locals who have used new legislation that a recent report said could “transform Scotland’s towns and cities”.

Since First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced land reform measures in 2014 to help enable communities to take over land which might otherwise been out of reach, focus has centred on rural initiatives led by communities using right to buy powers and Scottish land Fund cash to snatch back land from the clutches of hungry developers.

However, a small urban revolution has been underway too, among town and city groups keep to regenerate closed-down community centres, abandoned pubs, even strips of woodland that might otherwise fall victim to the creeping progress of the housing developer.

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Kirsty Flannigan and her colleagues at Linwood Community Development Trust are in the process of turning the derelict school into Mossedge Village, a new £2.4m community facility with full size football pitch, an outdoor forest nursery and the area’s beating heart.

Ms Flannigan said: “It’s not been overnight. It’s been a massive task to get to this stage.

“But if we hadn’t done this, the area would probably just be another eyesore.

“We estimate it’s cost £250,000 and we’ve not even put a spade in the ground yet. But what started as a campaign against the loss of the community centre and to improve the town centre, galvanised the community. It made us understand we had a right to challenge.

“This started with a group of ordinary working mums who didn’t like seeing the community left as it was and wanted better for their children. The children are all grown up now, left home, gone to university. That whole generation missed out. Hopefully the next generation won’t.”

Last week a report from umbrella group Community Land Scotland suggested this wave of urban community landownership could eventually bring about as big a change to Scotland’s towns and cities as has been seen in parts of the Highlands and Islands.

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It pointed to two key factors: an extension of right to buy legislation to give town and city community groups the same opportunities as rural counterparts; and the growth of the SLF, so its £10m pot of cash is now available to communities with over 10,000 population.

The result, says the report, could prompt fresh urban regeneration in town centres, breathing new life into empty buildings and even helping prevent historic buildings from crumbling.

Researcher Jasmine Chorley, who wrote the report, said: “We are hoping to see the kind of big changes that have taken place in the Highlands and islands taking place in urban areas as well.

“While challenges in urban areas are different, the potential of community land ownership to help in terms of town-centre regeneration, especially in former industrial areas, is quite promising, as well as helping in the housing market and community cohesion. There are a lot of intangible benefits as well.”

Other groups – such as Easthall Residents Association - have also used Community Land Fund cash to take over urban sites. It won around £65,000 to buy land former primary school land to create sports and leisure facilities, an adventure playground, running track and tennis courts run by young people on an employment training programme.

Rachel McCann, chair of the association, said: “This will bring in things that folk can’t afford to get to outside the area. It will make this place as good as any other – it’s a complete transformation.”

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The Community Land Scotland report points to examples of urban community organisations using powers enabled by the Community Empowerment Act passed by the Scottish Parliament two years ago to stride into the realms of property and land ownership.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Community Empowerment Act provides opportunities for communities to provide land and assets for their benefit. For community empowerment and asset transfer to work there needs to be help and support obtained by community bodies”.